Barney’s New York is doing something revolutionary and inspiring. It was announced three days ago that their Spring/Summer 2014 ad campaign and catalogue would be using 17 transgendered models. The campaign uses models from one end of the spectrum to another and were brought in from all over the world. There are models who have had gender reassignment surgery and also models who identify themselves as “genderqueers” without having the surgery. The campaign was photographed by Bruce Weber and it is called the Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters Campaign.
Although, Barneys is not the first company to use transgendered models, they are in fact the first mainstream luxury and hip department store to do so. Years ago, American Apparel featured the America’s Next Top Model contestant Isis King for their t-shirt campaign to honor LGBT Pride Month.
To continue the recognition for the models, Barney’s has also partnered with Vanity Fair to compile 17 different personal stories about each model. In addition, Barney’s will be donating 10% of all Barney’s sales starting February 11 to the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center.
The creative director, Dennis Freedman told the New York Times that the campaign is about creating awareness for the transgender community. He was quoted saying, “I was exquisitely aware that in the last decade, the L.G.B. (lesbian, gay and bisexual) communities have made extraordinary advances, and the transgender community has not shared in that progress,” he said.
It will be interesting to see how not only the Barney’s customers take to this campaign, but also other companies. I wonder if they will begin to follow suit in the seasons to come. I think Barney’s is doing a wonderful thing. Fashion is about coming up with new ideas constantly and this is a good way for Barney’s to stick out against his competitors.